Finding Connection in a World of Division

ships on storm sea

(painted by Ludolf Backhuysen)

It’s been a chaotic and busy past few weeks, and it has left me absent from my blogging. I apologize to my followers that I’ve been MIA. I’ve been steadily working through my Advanced Creative Writing course assignments, for which two weeks are left. It’s hard to believe I’ll be done with college after this class!

I’m sure I’m not the only person who has been bombarded by the insanity going on in our world, in our country (USA for me), through news stories and the comments/responses from them. I see divisions in just about every realm possible, and it’s distressing. Story headlines that are hyperbolic, or just plain false on both the left and the right. The lack of respectful discourse anywhere in the cyber world and in many cases, the real world/in person, is also distressing.

People on the right calling people on the left “commies” and “libtards.”  People on the left calling people on the right “fascists” and “nazis.” When somebody disagrees with someone in a comments section of anything from a youtube news video to an online news article, the person disagreeing with the person tells them to go kill themselves. Really? It’s shocking and horrible someone could say that to another human being.

Our society has turned into the loud voices of extremism and insanity, especially on social media. The social media megaphone is saturated with bombastic verbiage, dehumanizing each other, devouring our fellow human beings. It’s disgusting.

Heaven forbid you agree with something some politician said from one party, because then you’re branded a member of the opposition party as if you’re their enemy, even though you’re not with any party.

Our political parties and its members are like sororities/fraternities or football teams and their fans. ANATHEMA TO YOU if you agree with even an iota of what a member of the enemy team may express. Heaven forbid you think for yourself and don’t jump on the bandwagon and follow the masses in agreeing or disagreeing with whatever sorry sap is burning in the spotlight for that week.

Because I’ve watched and seen this, the truth is, there are some issues on which both the classic conservatives and classic liberals agree. Same with the neoliberals and neoconservatives. But they continue to act as if they have nothing in common and are enemies. This is a falsehood encouraged by the corporate media and extremists out there.

It’s really important to have standards and be consistent. If one side does something crappy, call them out. If another side does something along the same veins of crappy, call them out. Be big enough to admit your fellow political member said something that wasn’t accurate, or that you might *gasp* not totally agree with. Be big enough to agree with someone who is usually in opposition to your beliefs but says something that you *gasp* actually agree with. Stand for consistent principles, not hypocrisy.

Why are we aiding enemies like Saudi Arabia and Al Quaeda? What are we fighting for? An ideology? Or is it about money/greed/profit, resources, power? As a pro-lifer, I read and researched this issue, and it’s something I care about.

Nobody asks WHY. Why did they attack that group of people? Why are they on drugs? Why are suicides up? Why aren’t they learning about other people’s cultures instead of blowing up their countries? Why do we have an increase in terrorism? Why do we think it’s “normal” for college boys to sexually assault women? Why is this embedded in our culture? Why have men and women become even more divided than ever before? Why don’t we learn from our mistakes?

As you can see, a lot has been on my mind in between my course work and writing. I ask myself questions when I make a decision or come to an opinion on something. I ask why I think this way. What made me come to this conclusion? What’s the culture or social status in which I live and grew up? Should I think this way? I’m far from perfect. Quite the opposite. I just try to live my life keeping balanced and not going from one end of the spectrum to the other end.

I ask that we work on seeing each other as people first, people made in His Image, people equal to us in God’s eyes. That we are not each other’s enemies. We don’t agree with anyone one hundred percent, and that would be boring anyway. We disagree with our family and friends on at least some issues, but that shouldn’t bar us from loving them and seeing the value of our relationships and mutual humanity over a political or religious issue that we may disagree with.

When will we be able to sit down and discuss any topic in a respectful manner without misinterpreting and coming in with preconceived ideas through our own political or worldview mindset, responding bitterly with talking points, the company line, etc.? In this tumultuous, enflamed society, it’s very hard.

Will we ever get back to that lost art of respectful discourse, or is it gone forever?

 

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6 thoughts on “Finding Connection in a World of Division

  1. That’s such an insightful reflection. Since I’ve become more involved with one political party and people associate me to it, I kinda feel pressured to think everything they say it’s right. And while I agree with 99% of their discourse (that’s why I collaborate with them haha), I think some of their ideas are wrong. Thanks for this blog post, it’s been so helpful for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You raise important questions. I worry for my children, hoping that I am raising them to be kind and compassionate and all-accepting. But peer pressure can be stronger in the moment, I’m afraid, because I’ve seen the power of groups over a single person. It takes a special kind of confidence and strength for one person to defy a group. Some of the *best* kids I know have been frightened into silence or into following. I don’t know what the answer is, if there is an answer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Kate. 🙂 I understand your concerns. Peer pressure is a real issue with kids. It seems to happen within groups as you said. I spoke of political groups, but it does exist in other groups as well. Thanks for adding that point. I’m not sure how to fix that, either, even when I tell my kids they don’t have to agree with others on certain issues. This is more of an issue with my youngest than my oldest. He’s always walked to the beat of his own drum, to use a cliché. Also, one of the experiments/studies I learned in my psychology class is that people tend to do what the majority does so they don’t stand out or are branded different, so it’s kind of in our nature within our society/culture. Thanks for your comment. It’s a great contribution to this post. 🙂

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  3. I really appreciate your courage to tackle this topic. There is so much truth to your post. May we see each other as human beings, made in God’s image first and foremost. Many prayers that we can do just that to a world that needs Jesus more than ever. Bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

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